Top Universities in USA

13 minute read
Universities in USA

The United States of America has long been the dream destination of individuals who are aiming for quality higher education. The country stands to its status as a ‘superpower’ when it comes to its academic strength. It has seen the birth of not just its native leaders, but many global leaders of the contemporary era. Be it any profession, there are institutes in the US providing ace education along with rewarding work experience. Owing to this quality, many gifted students from other countries immigrate to the states and later settle in the country, further advancing its pool of quality human resources. So, let us try and understand what makes the institutions in the country so special and review some of the top universities in USA with the help of this article.

Country  United States of America (USA)
Universities ranking on QS (2022) 177
Popular Universities Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, etc.
Intakes Fall, Spring, and Summer 
English Proficiency Test  Required (IELTS / TOEFL / PTE)
Subject Proficiency Exam Required (SAT / ACT / GMAT / GRE)
Average Cost of Study  UG: $32,000 (INR 23,82,704)PG: $35,000 (INR 26,06,082)
Scholarships  Available 
Student Visa F-1 Visa, M-1 Visa, J-1 Visa
Best Student Cities  New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC

Perks of Studying in Universities in USA

The USA has grown so high in its global stature over the years that its educational prowess needs no introduction. Apart from the world-leading living conditions and efficient course structure, USA education system has numerous features that draw students from across the oceans to pursue a degree in the land of opportunities. Here are some of them:

  • Pursuing higher education in the USA comes packaged with an opportunity to experience the 1st world lifestyle for all students. It is not just fulfilling, but a learning experience for students as they learn how to better conduct themselves personally and professionally.
  • Universities in USA top the rankings chart every coming year for good reason. Presently, Universities in USA are the most prolific in producing polished talent for a variety of disciplines and domains. Not only they are recognized all over the world, but individuals holding degrees from these universities also hold a niche in the eyes of the recruiters owing to the sheer brand value of American universities.
  • While the standard tuition fees may be high for students, American universities offer generous scholarship opportunities to domestic and foreign students alike to study in USA. Students with innate endowments can find it easy to score a scholarship for pursuing their course.
  • Individuals who do not wish to limit themselves to a master’s degree must seriously consider pursuing higher education in the states. The research opportunities and resources available with the universities are unparalleled in the whole world. Having a degree from the USA can make it easier to pursue a PhD from the same country or even the same university.

Intakes in USA 

International universities offer multiple intakes through which they allow international students to become a part of them. In USA these intakes are available for three terms such as fall, spring, and summer. Generally, fall intake is considered to be the most popular among Indian students as it fits best with the Indian academic sessions. The majority of the programs are open in both fall and spring intakes whereas comparatively lesser programs are available for summer intake. Let us take a detailed look at all three intakes. 

Intakes  Duration
Fall Intake August to December 
Spring Intake January to April 
Summer Intake May to August

Top 50 Best Universities in USA 

It would not be hyperbole to call the USA the Land of Modern Learning. The States offers hundreds of world-known Universities which provide pathbreaking education and set new milestones every day in the field of research and academics. Here are some of the leading universities in the country offering a variety of courses:

Universities Location  QS World University Rankings- 2022
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge 1
Stanford University Stanford  =3
Harvard University Cambridge 5
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Pasadena 6
University of Chicago Chicago 10
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia 13
Yale University New Haven =14
Columbia University New York City 19
Princeton University Princeton 20
Cornell University Ithaca 21
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor =23
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore 25
Northwestern University Evanston 30
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) Berkeley 32
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles 40
New York University (NYU) New York City 42
University of California, San Diego San Diego 48
Duke University Durham 52
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh =53
Brown University Providence 60
The University of Texas at Austin Austin 67
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison =75
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign =82
University of Washington Seattle =85
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta 88
Rice University Houston 94
Pennsylvania State University University Park 96
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill 100
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis 107
Boston University Boston =112
University of Southern California Los Angeles =112
Purdue University West Lafayette 116
The Ohio State University Columbus 120
University of California, Davis Davis =138
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara 146
University of Rochester Rochester 154
Michigan State University East Lansing 157
University of Maryland, College Park College Park 158
Emory University Atlanta 160
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland =161
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh =163
Texas A & M University College Station =168
University of Florida Gainesville =173
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minneapolis =186
Dartmouth College Hanover =191
Arizona State University Phoenix =216
Vanderbilt University Nashville 218
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame 222
University of Virginia Charlottesville =226
University of California, Irvine Irvine 232

Famous Universities in USA

Here are some of the top-rated and world-renowned universities in USA that are described below:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

A constant feature among the top Universities in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a premier private institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Apart from its research prowess, MIT is particularly known for its technical courses, most of which are centered around the field of technology and innovation. Some of the most popular courses hosted by MIT are:

  • Aeronautics and Aerospace Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Biological Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Military Science 

The university is associated with as many as 93 Nobel Laureates to this date, creating wonders for humankind in all fields of life. 

Stanford University

Named after the founding senator Leland Stanford, Stanford is a name synonymous with quality higher education all around the world. Stanford University is quite rewarding with its academic environment, reflected by the freshman retention rate of 98%. The University has an annual enrolment of over 15,000 students, across its seven dedicated schools:

  • Humanities 
  • Sciences 
  • Business 
  • Education 
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine

The school has a remarkable campus environment, spanning an area over 8,000 acres, full of cultural diversity among students and faculty. This reflects in the laurels won by its alumnus, with about 17 Nobel laureates in the Stanford community. In addition to its degree courses, the university has a renowned research facility, with more than 6,800 projects currently underway with an estimated budget of 1.6bn dollars.

Harvard University

Established as early as 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States of America. This gigantic university houses about 2400 faculty members and more than 22,000 full-time and part-time students. It is a culmination of 12-degree schools, the most popular among which are:

  • Harvard Business School 
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences 
  • Harvard Law School

The university is particularly known for its MBA course, producing many able leaders throughout history like Bill Gates and Ratan Tata. And not just corporate leaders, and ex-presidents of the USA, Barrack Obama is also an alumnus of the organization.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Courtesy: Caltech

Previously known as Throop University, Caltech has seen rapid growth in the past years in its recognition as one of the leading educational institutes in the world. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, Caltech is a research institute known for its expertise in Natural Sciences and Engineering. With an admit rate as low as 8%, Caltech is made for those who are driven towards their goals, as the university houses, all the resources students can need to further their education. Some of the most popular subjects chosen by students for various courses at Caltech are:

  • Earth Sciences
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics

The university has a pretty strong alumni network, with many alumni working at the university, while as many as 74 are Nobel Laureates as of today.

Students applying to the USA can study at top universities that pursue their chosen courses without the burden of submitting IELTS scores. Here are some popular universities that allow students to study without IELTS:

Top Universities in USA for UG Courses 

Programs Universities
BBA Harvard University, Stanford University,Columbia University
Bachelor of Physics Stanford University, The University of Chicago, MIT
B.Sc. in Nursing The University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles, University of Washington
B.Sc. in Computer Science Harvard University,Stanford University, MIT
B.Sc. in Chemistry University of California Los Angeles, Princeton University, Columbia University
B.Sc. in Civil Engineering California Institute of Technology, Yale University, John Hopkins University
B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering University of California San Diego, University of Washington, New York University
B.Sc. in Biology Harvard University, University of California Berkeley,Stanford University
B. Sc. in Physics Harvard University,Stanford University, MIT
B.A. in Economics Northwestern University, University of Michigan, Cornell University
B.A. in Psychology Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley

Top Universities in USA for PG Courses 

Programs Universities
MBA Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT
M.S. in Computer Engineering University of California, Columbia University, Yale University
M.S. in Finance Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania
MSN Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Los Angeles
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering John Hopkins, UniversityDuke, University, Stanford University
M.S. in Mathematics University of California, Harvard University, Stanford University
M.Sc. in Economics The University of Chicago, Cornell University, Columbia University
M.S. in Statistics University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University,Stanford University
M.S. in Marketing Georgia State University, University of Washington, Duke University
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering Harvard University, University of Washington, New York University
M.S. in Artificial Intelligence Stanford University, Columbia University, Northwestern University
M.S. in Robotics University of Michigan, Ann ArborNew York University

Best Universities in USA for MBA

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The Wharton School
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • John Hopkins Carey Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • Columbia Business School
  • Stern School of Business, NYU
  • Yale School of Management

Top Universities in USA for Doctoral Courses

Programs Universities
Ph.D. in Computer Science Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT
Ph.D. in Business Administration Columbia University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering Stanford University, Duke University, Columbia University
Ph.D. in Neuroscience Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology Harvard University, MIT, John Hopkins University
Ph.D. in Data Science Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University
Ph.D. in Statistics Yale University, University of California Berkeley, University of Washington
Ph.D. in Genetics MIT, Harvard University, Boston University
Ph.D. in Anthropology Stanford University, MIT, Columbia University
Ph.D. in Immunology The University of Chicago Stanford, University Harvard University

Cheapest Universities in USA

  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • Arkansas State University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Brooklyn College
  • University of Louisiana–Monroe
  • Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • Dakota State University

Top Universities in USA: Eligibility Criteria

When exploring the top Universities in the USA, it is essential to map how students can get a place in those universities themselves. While premier institutes are demanding by default, here is a set of criteria that will help you set the course of direction for your efforts:

  • Naturally, students must have a valid USA student Visa with validity as long as the educational venture. This includes the course term, as well as any work experience that the students may seek in the USA.
  • For undergraduate courses, students must have good academic performance in their high school exams. Similarly, for masters, students must have a decent score in their graduation course.
  • Most universities require students to appear for an ability test. At the undergraduate level, SAT is a commonly accepted aptitude test for a variety of courses, especially in the USA. At the postgraduate level, tests like GMAT and GRE are given adequate weightage.
  • English proficiency exams like IELTS and TOEFL are a must not just for the USA, but any predominantly English-speaking country.
  • All universities in USA have slight variations in their application procedure and requirements, hence it is highly advisable to visit the website of preferred universities to be prepared with all the requirements for the university.

Note: In the light of present situations owing to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the US authorities have made changes in their immigration and visa policies. The universities have also temporarily changed their course term and timings. Students are advised to stay updated about the present scenario and take steps accordingly. Here is a blog to assist you further: How to Study Abroad Amid the Havoc of Coronavirus

Related Read: Best Engineering Colleges in the USA

Admission Process to Study in USA

The process for applying to study in the USA involves a bunch of important steps that must be completed within the given period. To help you in the given process, we have devised some simple steps along with important documents that you will be needing at the respective step to study in the USA-

  • STEP 1: Make a list of 8-10 colleges of your choice.
  • STEP 2: Fill out Your Application Form.
  • STEP 3: Collect supporting documents like academic transcripts, the result of the previous institution, English proficiency test result, CV, statement of purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), and other things. We recommend you check out the requirements section of your desired institutions.
  • STEP 4: Now start signing up accounts online on the website of universities to submit
    your application.
  • STEP 5: Some universities might ask for a WES evaluation (Just an evaluation which may cost $100-$160 (INR 7,500- 11,800) to ensure that you’re capable enough to study in the US) of your mark sheet. It may take 2 months to get your mark sheet evaluated
  • STEP 6: Once you submit all the required documents, they will inform and instruct you to pay the academic fee.
  • STEP 7: Now you will get an I-20 form and acceptance which will help you get a
    student visa.

Cost of Studying in USA

The cost of studying is an essential part of every student’s study abroad plan. Along with the tuition fee, a candidate also has to manage living expenses on their own. The USA is an expensive study destination as the living expenses can be too high. Depending upon the location of the university one picks, the overall expenditure varies. If your chosen study destination lies in a suburban or rural area the overall cost of living would automatically come down in comparison to urban campuses. Here is a table that shows the average cost of studying in the US: 

Degree Type Private University  Government University Community College
Undergraduate $32,000 (INR 23,00,00) $24,000 (INR 17,80,000) $200 Per Credit (INR 15,000)
Postgraduate $35,000 (INR 26,00,00) $30,000 (INR 22,50,000) $250 Per Credit (INR 18,500)
MBA $60,000 (INR 45,00,00) $48,000 (INR 36,00,000)

Student Visa to Study in USA

Here comes the most complicated part of studying in the USA. So pay attention if you want the dream to study in the USA to be a reality. As an international student, one must have the right type of student visa to avoid any type of hassle in entering the country. Before starting the procedure, you must first understand that there are three types of visas for Indian students:

F-1 Visa For those students who have been accepted into a full-time academic degree program at any recognized American university or college. Moreover, if any student’s study load is more than 18 hours a week, then he or she will also need this visa.
M-1 Visa This is suitable for those students who are indulging in vocational or non-academic study programs.
J-1 Visa This visa is for such students who get enrolled in an educational exchange program. In such a program, students remain enrolled at their home college or university while studying in the US. After the end of a fixed exchange agreement, students return home to get their qualifications. However, if your programs are longer than 18 hours a week as an exchange student, then you have to apply for the F-1 visa. 

Relatable Reads:

Scholarships at Top Universities in USA 

Scholarships University Grant Amount
Academic Scholars Award Harvard University 67,000 USD
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Program Stanford University 150,000 USD
MIT Scholarships Massachusetts Institute of Technology Full or partial cost of studying
Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship Columbia University 10,000 USD
UChicago Scholarships The University of Chicago 10,000 USD
Bershadsky Family Scholarship in Science or Engineering Princeton University 10,000 USD
University Grants Yale University Up to 74,000 USD
Knight Scholarship Cornell University Up to 40,000 USD


Can I study in USA for free?

Yes, it is feasible to study for free in the United States. There are several scholarships available in which students can obtain full coverage of their primary expenditures such as tuition, housing, health insurance, and so on.

Can I study in USA after 12th?

Yes, it is possible to study in USA once you have completed your class 12th. A plethora of UG courses is available in an array of traditional as well as trending fields. However, the majority of the students opt to pursue STEM courses in the USA. To select the best UG course, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu.

Which university in the USA is the cheapest?

Here is a list of 6 most affordable universities in USA for international students:
The City University of New York
University of the People
Alcorn State University in Mississippi
Minot State University in North Dakota
South Texas College
California State University, Long Beach

Which university is free in USA?

The list of top tuition-free universities in USA for international students is as follows:
Berea College
College of the Ozarks
Curtis Institute of Music
City University of New York (CUNY)
U.S. Academies
State of Washington Universities
Alice Lloyd College
Webb Institute

This concludes the insight on top Universities in the USA. If you are enamored by the plethora of opportunities in the United States of America and want to delve deeper into the world of quality foreign education, we can provide you with just the right assistance. At Leverage Edu, we are designed to cater to all your foreign higher education needs. Right from choosing the correct University and course combination to the enrollment and admission procedures, we have got your back. So, let’s begin with a free e-meeting with our career experts to set the sails to success today!

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